Mania: definition, causes, symptoms and treatment

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Mania refers to an abnormal and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, often accompanied by agitation, hyperactivity, agitation, excessive optimism, grandiosity, or impaired judgment. Symptoms of mania can include prolonged periods of excessive, extreme, and sometimes dangerous behavior.

Mania is generally associated with bipolar disorder , but people without these disorders can also experience mania. When this happens, it means that another cause or factor, such as a substance or disease, is contributing.

Learn about medicine / Teresa Chiechi

Symptoms

The symptoms of mania and hypomania, its less severe form, are largely the same, except that hypomania is not accompanied by psychotic symptoms and is not severe enough to cause marked functional impairment or hospitalization.

To be classified as mania, symptoms must persist for at least a week, cause difficulty in functioning, or require hospitalization.

Racing thoughts

If you feel like your thoughts are repetitive, repetitive, or distracting, take note. If someone tells you that you can't keep your thoughts together, or that your brain is working at many miles per minute, take note.

Reduced need for sleep

During manic episodes, the need for sleep is significantly reduced. In turn, sleep disturbances can make mania worse.

However, if someone you love isn't sleeping well, that doesn't necessarily mean they're manic. There are many reasons why a person's sleep habits can change.

Increased loquacity or rapid speech

While some people naturally speak more often or faster than others, people with mania only do so during a manic episode. This is a noticeable difference from your normal speaking behavior, but others may notice this change more easily. Another symptom of mania is speaking louder than usual.

Euphoria

As a symptom of mania, euphoria appears to be high and expansive emotions, including excessive and unjustified happiness, hope, and enthusiasm. These symptoms, more importantly, are not a direct result of substance use such as drug abuse, medication, or other treatments.

At first, the euphoria may seem like a relief if you are also depressed, but the good feelings quickly escalate to an uncontrollable and uncomfortable level.

Increased energy or activity.

An increase in purposeful activity (social, academic, work, or sexual) and psychomotor activity in the form of arousal is characteristic of manic episodes. This increased energy or activity can also contribute to sleep problems.

Feeling nervous or nervous

It can be associated with feelings of anxiety and irritability, increased energy and activity, and feelings of anxiety combined with restlessness. In some cases, this can manifest as repetitive behavior.

People can perform these activities, for example hitting or kicking, fidgeting, doodling, walking, and multitasking without completing tasks or meeting goals, to relieve tension.

Increased libido

Increased desire and sexual desire ( libido ) and associated sexual distress can also be present in manic episodes. While this may seem harmless or even positive at first glance, it can lead to risky sexual behavior or sexual misconduct.

Participate in risky behavior

Risk behavior related to mania is behavior that can have negative or painful consequences. They may include:

  • Having fun
  • Risky sexual behavior, such as unprotected sex.
  • Substance-related risk behavior, such as sharing needles or taking more than the recommended dose.
  • Self-harm

How to get help

If you have suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a qualified counselor. If you or a loved one is in immediate danger, call 911. For more mental health resources, check out our national hotline database .

Complications

You can't ignore mania. Leaving symptoms untreated can be dangerous. Non-bipolar mania doesn't happen by chance. If you or a loved one is experiencing mania, speak with your doctor, who can help you diagnose the underlying cause so that appropriate treatment can be started and the risk of complications reduced.

Suicide is the most serious complication of untreated bipolar disorder.

If a friend or loved one has auditory or visual hallucinations (sees or hears things that are not), or exhibits paranoia or other delusional behavior (beliefs about things that are unreal), see a mental health professional immediately. These can be serious symptoms of mania.

Mania in children

To recognize mania in children, you need to understand the child's underlying moods and behaviors. However, the symptoms of mania can be difficult to distinguish from those of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

What is the difference between mania and ADHD?

Mania occurs sporadically, while ADHD is a chronic condition.

Some common symptoms of mania in children include:

  • Higher level of activity.
  • Irritability
  • Bad judgment
  • Easy to distract
  • Difficulty falling asleep or falling asleep.

If your child shows signs of mania or depression , talk to a pediatrician or family doctor as soon as possible. Mood and behavior often return to baseline levels after manic episodes.

Causes

The causes of mania in bipolar disorder are not fully understood, but can include a combination of:

  • Family history : If one of your parents or siblings has experienced mania, you are more likely to experience a manic episode in your life.
  • Stress or environmental changes : Events such as job loss, breakup, family conflict, financial problems, and illness can trigger manic episodes and relapses of symptoms.
  • Brain differences : People with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses show brain differences. A 2019 study with 73 participants found that amygdala activation (involved in memory, emotion, and fight-or-flight responses) and the association differed in people with bipolar disorder.

Physical conditions associated with mania include:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • A brain tumor
  • Brain trauma
  • Childbirth (postpartum psychosis)
  • Dementia
  • Encephalitis
  • Lupus
  • Side effects of medications
  • Drug use
  • Sleep deprivation ( insomnia )
  • Career

Diagnostics

You and your doctor will discuss your symptoms, including the length of your episodes. Your doctor will then order tests, such as a thyroid function test and a urinalysis, to rule out other possible factors that could be affecting your symptoms.

For a manic episode to be diagnosed as part of bipolar disorder, a person must largely have three of the following symptoms, that is, there must be a noticeable change in behavior:

  • Inflated self-esteem or pomp
  • Decreased need for sleep, such as feeling rested after just three hours of sleep.
  • More talkative than usual or forced to keep talking
  • The flight of ideas or the feeling that your thoughts are racing.
  • Easily distracted by irrelevant or irrelevant stimuli
  • Increased activity or excitement
  • Excessive participation in activities that can have painful consequences.

The mood disturbance must be severe enough to cause noticeable disturbances in your social or professional functioning or require hospitalization to avoid harm to yourself or others. Also, an episode of mania is not the result of a substance or drug use disorder.

Watch out

Mania symptoms can be controlled with proper treatment. Some people find it easier to deal with mania with a combination of medications and psychotherapy.

Medicines

The type of medicine your doctor prescribes depends on the underlying cause of your mania. Not all medications that are commonly prescribed in mental health centers work.

For example, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are antidepressants used to treat depression, but should be used with caution or avoided because they can cause mania or worsen mood cycles.

Medications that may be prescribed include:

  • Mood stabilizers (anticonvulsants or lithium )
  • Antipsychotics
  • Hypnotics
  • Benzodiazepines

Therapy

Psychotherapy aims to help patients cope with illness and develop healthier coping skills. It can also help patients and their families better navigate stressful periods and triggers.

Common types of therapies used to treat bipolar disorder and related mania include:

  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Family or group therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy

Data review for 1995-2013. Psychotherapy associated with bipolar disorder, when used in conjunction with medications, has been shown to consistently demonstrate benefits over medications alone in terms of symptom severity and risk of relapse.

Changes in lifestyle

You can also make some other positive changes to help manage mania and bipolar disorder, including:

  • Stick to daily exercise
  • Eat a more balanced diet that includes nutrient-dense regular meals, colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • Make sleep a priority by sticking to a set sleep schedule, including on weekends, holidays, and vacations.
  • Keep a symptom or sensation diary so you can check for mood swings or new risk behaviors.
  • Practice self-compassion, which means forgiving yourself for reacting to triggers and participating in self-care activities.

Front facing

If you are experiencing manic episodes, it can help you cope with stressors and lower your overall stress levels. Dealing with personal stressors requires removing obstacles that will help you overcome perceived difficulties.

Strategies can include:

  • Seeking help from others, such as family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and therapists.
  • Access to local support services and agencies or organizations for people with mania or manic conditions.
  • Get financial aid or supplements
  • Get access to transportation
  • Practice a sense of humor

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between bipolar and manic depression?

Bipolar disorder used to be called manic depressive or manic-depressive illness. Both describe a mental disorder that causes mood swings and changes in energy, activity, and concentration levels.

What does a manic episode look like?

In a manic episode caused by bipolar disorder, the person may experience increased energy, creativity, and feelings of euphoria. Feeling safe is a common thing, as if you can achieve anything. However, irritability and loss of connection with reality can be observed.

How to calm a manic episode?

If you are experiencing mania, you should see a specialist for diagnosis and treatment. It is usually a symptom of bipolar disorder. You can calm your manic episode to some degree by practicing anxiety reduction techniques such as deep breathing and concentrating on what you can see, hear, smell, and touch. You can also develop and practice stress reduction strategies. However, appropriate psychiatric medications are generally required.

What happens when a manic episode ends?

When a manic episode ends, you generally feel exhausted, depressed, and even frustrated, because the feelings of high self-worth and euphoria that accompany mania are easy to overlook. Once the mania wears off, you may feel like your goals are hopeless, but with treatment, you can work to stabilize those ups and downs.

Summary

Mania is characterized by feelings of increased self-esteem, mood, and increased activity. People who have manic episodes may talk faster, sleep less, and behave in risky ways, such as spending time partying. While this is one of the main characteristics of bipolar disorder, other conditions can also cause mania. If you have symptoms of mania, see your doctor to help you figure out the cause.

Get the word of drug information

Experiencing mania can be scary, confusing, and isolating, especially if the person experiencing it is understandably concerned about sharing their symptoms with others. Know that you are not alone and that you can control your symptoms and prevent them from interfering with your life by seeking help and receiving treatment.

If you or someone you know needs help with bipolar disorder or related mania signs and symptoms, seek help from your doctor and mental health professional. They will be able to diagnose you and help you develop a treatment plan.

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